Preparing for Aug. 30 opening: Testing underway on Lynnwood Link Extension

A light rail train at the Lynnwood City Center Station Friday. (Photos by David Carlos)

Testing on the 8.5-mile long Lynnwood Link Extension has entered the pre-revenue phase, marking an important milestone toward the opening on Aug. 30, Sound Transit said. This phase includes training for operators and maintenance staff, and continued testing to ensure stations, tracks, utilities, and vehicles work together as expected in preparation for the start of service.

During this period, light rail vehicles are running frequently between the Northgate and Lynnwood City Center stations. In addition to trains on the tracks, people can expect to see maintenance vehicles, testing equipment, and personnel involved in the testing process, and hear sounds typical in an operating light rail system including station announcements, wheels on the tracks, and warning signals.

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell chats with construction workers prior to the program.

Sound Transit held a brief program at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station Friday to mark the start of the testing phase. Among those attending were Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell and Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright.

“With the start of pre-revenue service, the countdown has begun toward opening day for the Lynnwood extension, connecting King and Snohomish counties,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “This is an exciting moment for our communities as we prepare to further expand the green, integrated transit system our region deserves.”

The next phase of testing will be simulated service, which will begin next month. During simulated service, all trains will discharge passengers at Northgate and continue to Lynnwood. When the Lynnwood extension opens, trains will run every eight minutes during peak hours.

The $3.26 billion Lynnwood Link Light Rail project budget includes up to $1.17 billion from a full funding grant agreement executed by the Federal Transit Administration. In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau executed a $658 million low-interest loan supporting the project, including new light rail vehicles and support facilities.

Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyoko Matsumotoo Wright at the event.

The Lynnwood extension will serve the following stations, all of them with connections to multiple transit modes:

Shoreline South/148th Station. Located just northeast of I-5 at the NE 145th Street exit, the elevated Shoreline South/148th Station includes a parking garage with approximately 500 new spaces as part of the project.

Shoreline North/185th Station. Located on the east side of I-5, the Shoreline North/185th Station serves Shoreline Stadium, the Shoreline Conference Center and the surrounding neighborhoods. Improved pedestrian pathways connect the station to the west side of I-5. A parking garage with approximately 500 new spaces is part of the project.

Mountlake Terrace Station. Located east of I-5 at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center just north of 236th Street Southwest, west of Veterans Memorial Park, the elevated Mountlake Terrace Station straddles 236th Street Southwest, and is a short walk from the Mountlake Terrace Library, new city hall and future transit-oriented development. There are 890 existing parking spaces near the station.

Lynnwood City Center. Located at the Lynnwood Transit Center, this elevated station serves one of the busiest transit centers in the region, with extensive connections to local and regional service. A new garage containing 1,670 parking stalls in a five-story structure opened last year.

In 2016, voters approved the addition of a light rail station to the Lynnwood Link Extension at Northeast 130th Street. That station is scheduled to open in 2026.

Visit this page to learn more about the 1 Line to Lynnwood.

  1. Is Sound Transit System going to Increase Safety Recommendations, Positive Train Controls ️ and Emergency Response ahead of August 30th, Grand Opening of Lynnwood Extension Project with 4 new Stations .

  2. Also Is Sound Transit Going to Hire trained Transit Workers to operate Buses , Sounder Trains , Light️ Rail , Light rail stations

  3. Attempted to take light rail to a Mariners game a few weeks ago. Got on in Seattle to head home (with no warning) and was stopped before Capital Hill station and kicked off due to a murder at the Capital Hill station. They better have a healthy budget for security!! Both on the trains and at the stations.

  4. I hope they hire railroad police to keep us all safe from the public that have know place to live 24/7. It will be like the sky train ‘s , Hastings Street up North in Vancouver, BC.

  5. Not everyone has cell phones and WiFi and all that garbage.
    Please find a way to get the information about the new Link and transit options out to the elderly, lower income and homeless people.
    Thank you

  6. Excited for the progress! Went down to Pike street with a friend yesterday using the bus then light rail, which was great, but really looking forward to the when light rail is open all the way through Lynnwood. Daily commute is going to be such a breeze, and hitting up Seattle events without the traffic and parking madness, can’t wait!

  7. Hopefully this adds some positive transportation choices in the Northend. I’ve taken the Link light rail occasionally downtown, to events, and the airport. There’s definitely a “sketchy'” element riding the trains which is obviously noticeable by those who are not in denial or part of the problem. Improved security needs to be addressed. Fare compliance at this point is basically imaginary. With time, maybe coming to some common sense, and financial desperation, fare gates will be added eventually on, just as they were in the Vancouver BC system.

    1. Sound Transit seems to be making an effort from what I’ve read. Time will tell if they can keep the stations and trains safe and attract more fare-paying riders. I hope so, considering the cost of this transit system it would be shameful to give up on collecting fares and to hand over the stations and trains to the street people after dark.

      The most sketchy transit route that I’ve experienced around here is the swift bus down Aurora from the Shoreline Transit Center. I’ve taken that to a few evening events at Climate Pledge Arena and oh my…

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